Dr James Edwards

Dr James Edwards

Lecturer in Biomedical Sciences (Microbiology)

Peninsula Medical School (Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry)


Lecturer in Biomedical Science


I joined PU PSMD as a Lecturer in Biomedical Science in 2013.  I previously worked as a research scientist and Teaching Fellow at the University of York.  I have worked on a variety of research projects, both in industry and academia, with the most recent studying respiratory processes and growth physiology in pathogenic bacteria.  At York I taught on a number of biochemistry modules and supervised undergraduate project students. At Plymouth, my position allows me to focus on teaching our undergraduate medicine and postgraduate physician associate students about various topics in microbiology.  Occasionally I work with other groups of students too. 


BSc (Hons) Microbiology, University of Surrey, 2002

PhD, Department of Biology, University of York, 2006

PGCAP, University of Plymouth, 2014

Teaching interests

I have teaching interests in medical microbiology, antibiotics, antibiotic resistance and molecular biology. I deliver lectures and life science resource centre sessions (small group teaching) in support of these areas.

Within the department I have several roles:

  • Academic lead for microbiology (School of Medicine)
  • Academic tutor (year 1 & 2)
  • Pastoral tutor
  • PBL facilitator (year 1)
  • Co-lead for the year 3 SSU 'Doctor as Educator' (PU PSMD) with Dr. Karen Johnstone 
  • Year 4 science coordinator with Dr. Iain Robinson
  • SSC1 assessment lead
  • SSU provider for SSU1 and my microbiology SSU has been chosen for delivery in SSU 2, 4 & 5
  • Case Unit Block Lead for Carcinogenesis and Neoplasia 
  • TEL coordinator (School of Medicine)
  • I also sit on the faculty IT committee

Research interests

Microbial Biochemistry 

I am interested in the growth physiology of bacterial pathogens, how they respire and how they regulate the transcription of respiratory genes.

I have used in vitro and in vivo approaches in the past to investigate this, including gene cloning, protein over-expression and purification, DNA binding assays, gene knock-outs and reporter gene fusions. 

Science Education

I have undertaken the Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP).  

I am particularly interested in how microbiology is taught nationally, both in science and healthcare curricula.  

Key publications are highlighted

Aas FE, Li X, Edwards J, Hongrø Solbakken M, Deeudom M, Vik Å, Moir J, Koomey M & Aspholm M 2015 'Cytochrome c -based domain modularity governs genus-level diversification of electron transfer to dissimilatory nitrite reduction' Environmental Microbiology 17, (6) 2114-2132 , DOI
Catenazzi MCE, Jones H, Wallace I, Clifton J, Chong JPJ, Jackson MA, Macdonald S, Edwards J & Moir JWB 2014 'A large genomic island allows Neisseria meningitidis to utilize propionic acid, with implications for colonization of the human nasopharynx' Mol Microbiol 93, (2) 346-355 Author Site , DOI
Edwards J, Quinn D, Rowbottom K-A, Whittingham J, Thomson M & Moir J 2012 'Neisseria meningitidis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae are differently adapted in the regulation of denitrification: single nucleotide polymorphisms that enable species-specific tuning of the aerobic–anaerobic switch' Biochemical Journal 445, (1) 69-79 , DOI
Rylott EL, Jackson RG, Sabbadin F, Seth-Smith HMB, Edwards J, Chong CS, Strand SE, Grogan G & Bruce NC 2011 'The explosive-degrading cytochrome P450 XplA: biochemistry, structural features and prospects for bioremediation' Biochim Biophys Acta 1814, (1) 230-236 Author Site , DOI
Edwards J, Cole LJ, Green JB, Thomson MJ, Wood AJ, Whittingham JL & Moir JWB 2010 'Binding to DNA protects Neisseria meningitidis fumarate and nitrate reductase regulator (FNR) from oxygen' J Biol Chem 285, (2) 1105-1112 Author Site , DOI
Seth-Smith HMB, Edwards J, Rosser SJ, Rathbone DA & Bruce NC 2008 'The Explosive-Degrading Cytochrome P450 System Is Highly Conserved among Strains of Rhodococcus spp' Applied and Environmental Microbiology 74, (14) 4550-4552 , DOI
Rylott EL, Jackson RG, Edwards J, Womack GL, Seth-Smith HMB, Rathbone DA, Strand SE & Bruce NC 2006 'An explosive-degrading cytochrome P450 activity and its targeted application for the phytoremediation of RDX' Nat Biotechnol 24, (2) 216-219 Author Site , DOI
Conference Papers
Hirst G, Edwards J & Beltechi A 2016 '‘Playing your drugs right: Gamification of antibiotic teaching’' Association of Medical Educators in Europe Barcelona, Spain
Cripps A, Hart R, Edwards J, Zahra D & Chatterjee A 2016 'Personalised recall app for enhancing medical knowledge retention: A pilot study' The Association for Study of Medical Education Annual Conference. Belfast
Hill A, Edwards J & Khalil H 2015 'A novel staff - student partnership promoting biomedical-clinical science integration within an undergraduate medical program' International Association of Medical Science Educators San Diego, CA, USA 14/06/2015 17/06/2015